What are Mag Wheels & What is a Flow Formed Alloy Wheel?
Commonly known as Alloys, wheels, Mags or rims. The term Mag wheels is a slang term, once used to indicate the lightweight magnesium wheels used in early drag racing. The term just hung around and is used to refer to aluminium or chrome type styled road wheels. Mag wheels don’t necessarily mean you have magnesium wheels, although you could, likely you just have some nice looking wheels.
What are Mag Wheels?
Alloy wheels are wheels that are made from an alloy of aluminium or magnesium. Alloys are mixtures of a metal and other elements. They generally provide greater strength over pure metals, which are usually much softer and more ductile. Alloys of aluminium or magnesium are typically lighter for the same strength, provide better heat conduction, and often produce improved cosmetic appearance over steel wheels. Although steel, the most common material used in wheel production, is an alloy of iron and carbon, the term “alloy wheel” is usually reserved for wheels made from nonferrous alloys.
The earliest light-alloy wheels were made of magnesium alloys. Although they lost favour on common vehicles, they remained popular through the 1960s, albeit in very limited numbers. In the mid-to-late 1960s, aluminium-casting refinements allowed the manufacture of safer wheels that were not as brittle. Most new luxury and sports cars come equipped with alloy wheels. Most consumers, however, are unaware of the benefits they offer, aside from aesthetic appeal. Acers identified a need for lighter weight and stiffer wheels, and mag wheels were born. These expensive race wheels were the forerunners for our modern day alloys.
No longer made of magnesium, most are made of an alloy of aluminium and other metals. The resulting hybrid is lighter than steel, stiffer than steel, and dissipates heat better than steel. Lighter wheels require less effort to get them rolling, improving straight-line performance. Alloy wheels flex much less, promoting better handling through the curves. Another advantage is as obvious as the nose on your face… Aside from the design of the spokes, most people quickly notice the brake mechanism peeking through. That’s a good thing! Visible brakes are cooler brakes. Cool brakes perform better and last longer.
When offered as a factory upgrade for a particular vehicle, the alloy wheels are usually larger in diameter than the steel counterparts. The manufacturer pairs the larger wheel with a tire that maintains the standard outside diameter. In other words, the new tire is just as tall but has a smaller sidewall to accommodate the larger wheel. Upgrading to alloy wheels can be the easiest way to increase your vehicle’s performance and appearance. If your vehicle doesn’t have them feel free to give us a call to discuss your options!